Recording "New Moon Over Jamaica"

Monday, May 9, 1988 • For Johnny Cash

Part of

"Flowers In The Dirt" sessions at Hog Hill Mill

April - July 1988 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Flowers In The Dirt

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Water from the Wells of Home Official album.
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Some songs from this session appear on:

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From Club Sandwich N°50, Autumn 1988:

The memorable session for ‘New Moon Over Jamaica’ took place at Paul’s Sussex studio on Monday, 9th May and, luckily for Club Sandwich, two impeccable witnesses have given us their accounts.

First John Hammel, trusty keeper of Paul’s guitars among other gear:

Johnny and Paul had demos of the song beforehand. When he arrived, Johnny got his guitar out, chatted to Paul and they played other tunes together. Johnny’s wife, June Carter Cash, played autoharp which I tuned for her. It was a really nice session.

Next studio boffin Eddie Klein, who explained the autoharp to your correspondent:

You press a button to get a chord — hence the ‘auto’ in the name — and stroke the strings like a zither. The button automatically damps the strings which aren’t needed for the chord.

It was Johnny Cash’s one day off on his tour and he was great, but quite tired. It was a very relaxed session. Paul played the Hofner violin bass and he and Hamish Stuart played electric and acoustic guitars. Chris Whitten played drums and he and Hamish joined in the background chanting.

Johnny was taking the masters back, but there wasn’t time to do them that night. I took them to his Brighton gig the next day and saw the gig from the side of the stage, which was great for me ’cause I’m a big fan.

More info. June and Linda also sang back-up, with additional vocals by Tom T. Hall being added later in Nashville. Paul produced, with Geoff Emerick from Beatles days and Matt Butler from Press To Play as engineers.

During this session, it is likely Paul McCartney played a version of “Man We Was Lonely”, a song from his debut solo album, “McCartney“, released in April 1970.

In “Man We Was Lonely”, you sound like Buck Owens in the chorus and Paul McCartney in the verses – like you’re doing a duet with Buck Owens?

Actually, I thought of myself as Johnny Cash on that one. Johnny could have done that one right! I remember playing that to him and June [Carter-Cash], in fact.

Paul McCartney – From interview with MusicRadar, 2004

Last updated on May 10, 2023

Songs recorded



Man We Was Lonely

Written by Paul McCartney



Production staff

Geoff Emerick:
Matt Butler:
Assistant engineer

Going further

Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical – a total of around 500 songs – released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

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Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!

Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website

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